She responded with flying colors, turning in a pair of complete-game victories and hurling Reed to a doubleheader sweep over Spanish Springs, winning by scores of 7-2 and 4-3.
"It was an honor," Sertic said of being called on to start both conference clashes. "I knew my coach and teammates believed in me. I knew my offense would pick me up with a few runs and my team would back me up with good defense. Everything is about team."
In seven innings of work in the opener, Sertic limited Spanish Springs to two runs, only one earned. She scattered four Cougars hits and struck out 11 without issuing a walk.
In Game 2, she gave up nine hits but limited the SSHS offense to just three runs, two earned. Again, she did not issue any free passes, finishing with five strikeouts.
"I pretty much did the same things in both games," Sertic said. "We knew the patterns of their hitters. We did try to mix it up a little more in the second game.
"In the first game, I felt pretty solid. In the second game, I couldn't quite get my footing right. it felt like everything I was throwing was going high ... I tried to make adjustments."
Sertic drew high praise from her coach.
"We just had a lot of momentum after that first game and we rode it," Wunder said of his decision to bring back Sertic in Game 2. "I told our defense, Spanish Springs will have seen Jackie through 11-12-13-plus innings. They have got to make plays. We're juggling players up and down our lineup but our defense didn't miss a thing."
Game 2 had most of the drama. Reed led most of the way, taking a 2-1 lead into the seventh inning. Spanish Springs got to Sertic for a pair of runs in the top of the seventh to forge ahead 3-2, but Reed wasn't about to settle for a twin bill split. The Raiders rallied for two runs of their own in the bottom of the frame to steal the one-run victory.
Marriah Levesque reached on a Cougars' error before Mary Dettling got down a bunt single. McKenzie Goins reached on a fielder's choice, but the SSHS defense failed to get an out on the sequence, leaving the sacks saturated with Raiders. Reed's No. 5 hitter Lindsay Yearman stepped up and responded, ripping a single into left field, scoring Levesque and Dettling and giving Reed the dramatic triumph.
"I was just looking for a good pitch to hit," Yearman said. "I wouldn't have even had that opportunity if my teammates had not have stepped up and got on base. I knew we needed one run to win and one to tie. I rounded first and saw the second run score, so I knew we had won. It's a really good feeling."
Yearman wasn't the only one wearing Blue and Gold who was enjoying the moment.
"When they came back to score and take the lead in the seventh, we had already won the first game," Wunder said. "It would have been real easy to roll over, but our kids weren't about to let that happen. We had been putting the ball in play the entire day. I was confident we could again."
It looked like Spanish Springs might pick up the Game 2 win after it jumped ahead 3-2 with its pair of runs in the top of the seventh. With one out, Myrissa Prince singled. After an infield fly ball turned into the second out, Kelsie Merritt singled, getting Prince to third. Merritt raced to second with a stolen base. Amanda Barham singled to score Prince and tie the game and then Sidney Sinclair roped a single into right field scoring Merritt.
Reed took a 1-0 lead in Game 2 with an unearned run in the second inning. Spanish Springs tied the game at 1-1 when Taylor Helton blasted a solo homer over the fence in right-center field in the top of inning five.
The 1-1 deadlock was short-lived. Reed regained the lead, 2-1, in the bottom of the fifth after Dettling was hit by a pitch and came around to score after a fielder choice and RBI single by Yearman.
"Reed just outplayed us in every aspect of the game today," Spanish Springs coach Jeff Davidson said. "They deserved to win both games. They executed and we did not."
The first game was close through three and half innings. The league foes were knotted at 2-2 when Reed came up for its offensive turn in the bottom of the fourth. The RHS crew blew the game open from there, scoring two runs in the fourth, one in the fifth and two more in the sixth.
Meanwhile, after giving up single scores in the third and fourth to the visiting Cougars, Sertic shut down Spanish Springs through the final three innings of action.
Reed took the lead for good in Game 1 with its two fourth-inning runs. With two outs, Kiara Shirley singled and stole second. Chelsea Cummings walked and Cassy Walsh ripped a two-run double.
Reed (21-4-3, 12-1) eventually extended its edge to 5-2 before it tacked on two more runs in the sixth. Cummings was hit by a pitch and scored later in the inning on a Spanish Springs error. Walsh reached on that fielding miscue. She later came plateward on a run-scoring fielder's choice.
In the third inning, Spanish Springs got on the scoreboard when Sinclair doubled and scored. The Cougars added their second run when Lawrence doubled and scored in the fourth.
"Our pitching made some mistakes and Reed hitters took advantage. We didn't play very good defense behind our pitchers either," said Davidson, who watched his team commit five errors Satruday, four in Game 2. "Any time you make a mistake on a routine play, it's going to come back and hurt you, especially when you're playing a good team. We didn't play error-free ball."
Reed, which clinched a High Desert League title with Saturday's wins, returns to the diamond for a Division I North crossover league game Thursday at home against Damonte Ranch. Spanish Springs (22-6, 9-4) will also play again Thursday as it hosts Carson. Both local games begin at 3:45 p.m.